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Fugitive's asylum plea causes US political storm

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Fugitive's asylum plea causes US political storm


At Moscow airport the arrival of Edward Snowden, the man responsible for what many say is the biggest security leak in American history, proved elusive to the media and caused a political storm to brew in the US.

The spokeswoman for the National Security Council Caitlin Hayden said she expects the Russian government to look at all options to send Snowden back to the US to face justice. Her comments came amid reports he is in secret talks at the airport to gain asylum to Ecuador.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said he would be deeply troubled if China and Russia had prior notice of Snowden’s travel plans.

On a trip to Vietnam, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino confirmed his country had been approached and is considering the request.

“This is something related to the freedom of expression, with the security of the citizens of the world, with confidentiality rights and that’s why we have to study this matter very carefully. There are differences between some countries’ governments. There are the ones that act defending their interests and some others, like us, that act according to Human Rights principles and people’s lives,” he told reporters.

Snowden revealed the existence of a top secret computer and internet spy operation called PRISM which the Americans have been running for years that potentially engaged in illegal hacking activity both at home and abroad.

The focus now is on where the fugitive US spy agency contractor will go next with rumours he could stop off in Cuba and how the US will react in their bid to bring him to justice.

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